A Roswell native, River Through Atlanta owner Chris Scalley grew up on the Chattahoochee River, which he proudly still calls home. It's not unusual for Chris to spend 200 days or more on the Hooch, as he and his affiliate guides constantly lead fly fishing instruction, boat trips, and wading trips on the river. Because of his lifetime of experience, Chris has accumulated a unique knowledge of the local ecology, behavior of the trout, and how frequently they vote on American Idol. Though he has fished at destination rivers all over the world, Chris still feels that the Hooch holds its own with regard to angling and aesthetics. To preserve these aesthetics, Chris led efforts to protect the Chattahoochee and its sport fishery, earning him recognition in 2007 as a Hero of Conservation in Field & Stream.
The snap of cracking shells echoes through the numerous dining rooms of Fisherman’s Bucket. Servers weave through cobblestone archways, bearing fried, steamed, or seasoned shellfish by the platter and bucket, along with po’ boys spilling forth oysters, gator, and catfish. Soft lights illuminate a faux shark head above the booths, tables, and barstools inside, and an outdoor patio stretches out beneath the sun, stars, and skywriters passive-aggressively correcting each others’ work.
Captain Doug loves catching striped bass. Sometimes, he even breaks out a fly-fishing rig to intensify the fight, a practice that would soon deplete the strength of lesser fishermen. But with more than a decade of learning the patterns of striped bass, Captain Doug knows how to find, hook, not get eaten by, and coach clients through landing one of these freshwater leviathans. Now part of the pro staff at Champion Boats, he takes parties out on his 24 Bay Champ boat, supplying anglers with all the equipment they need. Also an enthusiastic trout fisherman, Captain Doug can take anglers out on the Chattahoochee River, or all the way to the Rocky Mountains to catch trophy rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout in the Snake River and the Green River. Especially memorable catches earn a place in the captain's heart, as well as in his photo album.
Competitive angler Rob Jordan pilots year-round adventures on Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre haven for trophy-winning largemouth and magnum spotted bass. He and groups of passengers embark on guided trips aboard the brand new 250-horsepower 2014 Nitro Z-8 boat equipped with Lowrance HDS sonar that spots schools of fish in the depths and top-of-the-line Shimano tackle to pluck them out. The captain explains the craft's technology and helps his charges reel in squirmy swimmers the old-fashioned way as well – stopping to measure, weigh, and photograph any of the frequently-caught trophy fish for a replica mount before returning them to the water. He also provides all rods and gear as well as a digital camera to document catches levitating from the pier.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Outdoor recreation activities
Pro Tip: Call ahead to register for programs.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
Just 15 minutes from Atlanta, Panola Mountain is a recreational haven for all ages and interests. Visitors can picnic while children work off energy on the playground. Anglers can bring their fishing poles to catch dinner at Alexander Lake. Panola Mountain State Park is one of the only state parks to offer archery programming (including a state of the art 3D practice range, for those with their own equipment), as well as "Canopy Adventure" tree climbing programs. Tree-climbing is great for families, youth organizations, corporate team-building excursions, and can accommodate any physical disability. The park also offers boat rental, geocaching, orienteering, birding and hiking. Georgia's PATH Foundation scenic Rockdale River Trail winds through the park and is ideal for biking, roller blading, jogging and dog-walking.
Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop similar to Stone Mountain, but smaller and much more pristine. Panola is special because it's never been quarried, and as a National Natural Landmark, has had limited human impact. Because of this, it has many incredible rare ecologic features. Panola Mountain State Park is the crown jewel of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, one of only three National Heritage Areas in the state. The park’s unusual natural beauty and intriguing cultural changes are the basis for this special recognition.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
It started as a conservation park to protect the pristine ecosystem of the mountain.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
"We never knew all this was back here!"
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Helping visitors develop an enjoyment and respect for nature.
Since 1997, captain Cy Grajcar has trawled the rivers and lakes of northwest Georgia. Over that time, he has developed a specialty for hauling up striped, hybrid, and white bass from lakes and rivers where they congregate, even setting records for some the monsters that he's reeled in. As a guide, he invites clients aboard his trusty 22-foot Palm Beach Center Console where all fishing gear is provided and ferries them off to the spots on Lake Altoona, Carters Lake, and rivers throughout the region where he's found reliable success. On the water, Cy shares instruction for how to draw in fat, picture-worthy fish using sound baiting, casting, and reeling technique, as opposed to just dangling a slice of chocolate cake in the water.